So much is changing so quickly right now, and our co-ops are uniquely positioned to serve our owners and community today, and be practical alternatives to 'business -as-usual' in the future. We don't have a crystal ball to see that future, but we can discuss together how our co-ops can have a larger role and how we can talk about our co-ops as important parts of a better society.
Just as we have assisted change in other organizations, we also recognized that it was time for a shift within our own cooperative. Our brand is built one-on-one in the work we do together with clients and consultants, and now we are building a new platform for those relationships. Doing this is part of our long-standing vision to initiate positive change and amplify our impact.
Retailers face lots of challenges, profit margins are small, inventory needs to turn, and the competition is fierce. Getting customers into the store and keeping them satisfied should be everyone’s focus to boost sales and enhance profitability. Retailers faced with flat or declining sales need to take a closer look at their marketing and customer service experience. Since food co-ops are owned by the [...]
Ashland Food Co-op in Ashland, OR is a successful food co-op in an artsy university town that also draws a lot of year-round tourists. The co-op is especially known for its outreach and popularity in the community. Recently, they faced a dilemma about this very thing. What should the co-op do when their dynamic and long-term marketing director retired? What could the co-op do to build on that success in a rapidly changing market?
By Rebecca Torpie 190 May-June 2017 Co-op boards and marketing teams can be like two ships passing in the night. Chances are they’ve crossed paths during election season and annual meeting planning, but contact beyond that can be very limited. At many co-ops, neither the board nor the marketing team truly understands the other’s role or perspective, and this can lead to misunderstandings, haphazard planning [...]
By Nicole Klimek, Joy Rust 184 May-June 2016 As competition creeps up to #1 on the “food co-op worry list,” many co-ops find themselves wondering how they can combat declining sales while not investing an arm and a leg in store labor and operations. Taking a look at the changing marketplace, we notice that many of the major players in the natural foods industry [...]
By Mary Myers, Walden Swanson 042 September - October - 1992 This is the third in a series of articles based on Business Planning For Cooperatives, a manual published by Cooperative Development Services that provides step by step Instructions for writing business plans. This manual is based on the principles of systems analysis, which recommend an analysis of each of a retail co-op's key [...]